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First Solar joins Desertec; Solar players landing deals

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First Solar joined the Desertec Industrial Initiative, a solar power project that aims to supply 15 percent of Europe's power by 2050. Other solar players also landed big deals.

First Solar said Tuesday that it has joined the Desertec Industrial Initiative, a solar power project that aims to supply 15 percent of Europe's power by 2050.

In a statement, First Solar, which makes utility scale photovoltaic (PV) solar technology, said it plans to demonstrate the potential of PVs as a renewable energy source with Desertec. Desertec aims to provide electricity for the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe using solar and wind energy.

First Solar will be an associated partner of Desertec for three years as a trial and provide PV expertise in working groups and prepare the ground for reference projects and a roll-out plan."

First Solar, based in Mainz, Germany, has built solar power plants in the deserts of the U.S. and United Arab Emirates with another planned for Ordos City, Inner Mongolia.

Among other deals of note:

  • Evergreen Solar, which makes solar power products and wafers, said Tuesday that its panels are now online at a five-megawatt power plant in Apulia, Italy. The installation is the largest in Evergreen Solar's history. The project, designed and installed by Italian project developer Greenvision, has a total surface area of 100,000 square meters and uses 24,600 Evergreen Solar ES-A series String Ribbon solar panels. The plant will provide enough electricity to power 2,400 homes.
  • Suniva, which makes high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, said Titan Energy Systems Ltd. in India commissioned the company's technology for its largest solar power installation. The system will cover more than 12 acres. Suniva's solar cells are incorporated in the project. Titan is owned by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd., one of India's largest power providers.
  • Solar industrial supplier Meyer Burger won a 250 million Swiss Franc deal from a customer in Asia. Deliveries are expected throughout 2010 and 2011.

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Larry Dignan


Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure